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Optimal central bank design: Benchmarks for the ECB

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  • Helge Berger

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Abstract

The paper discusses key elements of optimal central bank design and applies its findings to the Eurosystem. A particular focus is on the size of monetary policy committees, the degree of centralization, and the representation of relative economic size in the voting rights of regional (or sectoral) interests. Broad benchmarks for the optimal design of monetary policy committees are derived, combining relevant theoretical arguments with available empirical evidence. A new indicator compares the mismatch of relative regional economic size and voting rights in the monetary policy committees of the US Fed, the pre-1999 German Bundesbank, and the ECB over time. Based on these benchmarks, there seems to be room to improve the organization of the ECB Governing Board and current plans for reform. --

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal The Review of International Organizations.

Volume (Year): 1 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 207-235

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Handle: RePEc:spr:revint:v:1:y:2006:i:3:p:207-235

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Keywords: Central bank design; ECB; ECB reform; Eurosystem; Federal central banks; D72; E58;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2008. "The Stress of Having a Single Monetary Policy in Europe," KOF Working papers 08-190, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  2. Helge Berger & Volker Nitsch, 2008. "Too Many Cooks? Committees in Monetary Policy," KOF Working papers 08-195, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  3. Helge Berger & Till Mueller, 2004. "How Should Large and Small Countries Be Represented in a Currency Union?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1344, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker & Lybek, Tonny, 2008. "Central Bank boards around the world: why does membership size differ?," Discussion Papers 2008/5, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  5. Szilárd Erhart & Jose-Luis Vasquez-Paz, 2007. "Optimal monetary policy committee size: Theory and cross country evidence," MNB Working Papers 2007/6, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
  6. Szilárd Erhart & Harmen Lehment & Jose L. Vasquez Paz, 2007. "Monetary Policy Committee Size and Inflation Volatility," Kiel Working Papers 1377, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  7. Helge Berger, 2006. "Unfinished business? The ECB reform ahead of euro area enlargement," CESifo Forum, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 7(4), pages 35-41, December.
  8. Szilárd Erhart & Jose Luis Vasquez-Paz, 2008. "Determinants of the size of a monetary policy committee: Theory and cross country evidence," Working Papers 2008-001, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
  9. H.J. Roelfsema, 2006. "Why are federal central banks more activist?," Working Papers 06-06, Utrecht School of Economics.

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